Go to the Beach! The Essential Checklist for Your Next Getaway

Go to the Beach Checklist for a Getaway

Go to the beach in style. The essential checklist with everything you need to plan that perfect beachside getaway, for you or your family.

Keyword(s): go to the beach

When it’s time to go to the beach with your family, it is also time to plan well. Whether you are vacationing with small children or a multi-generational group, your trip will be much more fun if you can anticipate people’s needs and plan accordingly.

Make sure you have these essentials when you get ready for your beach vacation.

Checklist Before You Go To The Beach


Toddlers, parents and grandparents alike all need to use sunscreen to protect against skin cancer. Even if you tan easily, studies show that everyone needs to use sunscreen liberally when they are at the beach.

Even on a cloudy day, you need to slather it on. Not only will it protect against cancer later in life, but it helps prevent premature aging.

No one wants to spend their beach vacation indoors nursing a sunburn- their own or someone else’s. Make sure you pack plenty of lotions and sprays for everyone in your party.

Ideas For Excursions

No matter where you vacation, there’s always the possibility when you go to the beach that you may have a cloudy or rainy day. Don’t be trapped indoors with family members demanding entertainment.

Spend a little time before you leave researching your options in the area. Many beach resorts are located near fun local attractions. If the weather does not cooperate during your beach holiday, you can still enjoy a fun day visiting a local museum, aquarium or restaurant.


One of the reasons families love to go to the beach together is the opportunity to spend quality time with each other. Make the most of your family time by planning a few games that everyone will enjoy.

Go “old school” with a pack of cards. They are not only easy to pack but can provide hours of fun for grandparents, teens and younger kids alike.

Teach the kids how to play poker using pennies for bets, or start a rousing tournament of “War” or “Old Maid.” You might even cultivate a bridge partner.

Video games can also bring families together. If your condo or resort has Wifi, let the younger generations introduce their parents and grandparents to the fun of “Guitar Hero” or “Dungeons and Dragons.”

After a long day at the beach, Game Night can be a nice way to unwind and laugh together.


Families traveling together often prefer the convenience of a beachside condo to a hotel because of the kitchen facilities. If you are eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner in restaurants every day, the cost of your beach holiday can skyrocket!

Purchase some of your loved ones’ favorite snacks to keep in your room’s refrigerator, in addition to bottled water. Fruit, crackers and granola bars can give extra energy and save some money that might otherwise be spent in the costly gift shop or cafe.

Beach Bag

Experienced beachgoers make sure all of their essentials are in one place. Choose a mesh bag, which lets sand out and keeps everything you need in one place. That way you will always have flips flops, sunscreen, a water bottle and a towel with you- keeping treks back to the room to a minimum.

For large groups, assign each family member a different color bag and instruct them that they are responsible for their own belongings. Even a vacation can provide teachable moments!

Nothing you put in a beach bag should be very expensive or irreplaceable. If you keep contents to what can get wet, sandy or lost, you will keep tears to a minimum when you go to the beach.


Nothing brings a happy vacation to a halt faster than the need to rush the doctor. It can be difficult to obtain prescription medications when you are far from home.

If you or members of your family take regular medication, don’t forget to pack both your medicine and an extra prescription just in case.

Make sure you also pack over-the-counter items, such as aloe for sunburn, aspirin or Tylenol for fevers and pain, and band-aids for cuts and scrapes. Small first aid kits can be found at any drugstore and should be included on your packing list when you go to the beach.


Everyone in your party should pack a hat when you go to the beach. Hats protect against sunburn, dehydration and overheating. They also protect your hair from drying out.

Kids especially need to cover their heads when they are out in the sun all day. Like beach bags, you can color-code your hats to make sure you can see your little ones from afar and notify people if one of them goes wandering (“I’m looking for the boy in the purple baseball cap!”).

Water-resistant Phone Pouch

It’s almost impossible to leave one’s phone behind on vacation: you need to get emails from work, take photos of your children, and rally your group when it is time to go to dinner.

However, phones and beach vacations are not always a match made in heaven. Sand, sun, and water are not your mobile’s best friend.

You can buy an inexpensive water-resistant phone pouch to take with you to the beach. These will prevent you from losing pictures, contacts and all of the important information we now keep on our phones.

You can even take photos through these pouches, allowing you to capture images of your loved ones playing in the pool or ocean.

Floating Keyring

If you are renting a beachside condo, you need to keep track of the keys to the castle. You also need to keep track of your car keys in case you leave your resort for an excursion.

There’s no bigger buzz kill to a family vacation than the panic caused by keys dropped in the sand or the surf.

A cork or floating key ring, preferably in bright colors so it can’t be missed, will save you from the hassle and annoyance of losing your keys while on vacation.

Creating one of these handy items from last night’s wine bottle can even be a fun crafts activity.

Keep Your Head When You Go To The Beach

Careful packing and planning for a family beach vacation will help you keep your sanity and really enjoy this special time with the ones you love.

For more ideas on where to go for a convenient and fun-filled beach holiday, check out this family-friendly option.